Mencius and the Tradition of Articulating Human Nature in Terms of Growth

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (2):180 - 197 (2009)
Abstract
This article analyses the tradition of "articulating xing in terms of sheng" and related other expressions, and also examines the debate between Mencius and Gaozi concerning "xing is known by sheng" It claims that while Mencius' "human nature is good" discourse is influenced by the interpretive tradition of "articulating xing in terms of sheng", Mencius also transcends and develops this tradition. Therefore it is only when Mencius' views about the goodness of human nature are understood in the context of this interpretive tradition that his ideas can be fully understood. Utilizing this framework, the Confucian understanding of rights is then explored. /// 通过对"以生言性"的传统及其不同命题表述的详尽分析,对孟子、告子"生 之谓性"的辩论做出梳理,指出孟子性善论一方面受到了"以生言性"传统的影响, 另一方面则超越、发展了这一传统,故只有将孟子性善论放在"以生言性"的传统 下才能得到真正的理解。从这一角度出发,为探讨儒家的权利观念提供了可能。.
Keywords articulating xing in terms of sheng   Mencius   rights   the goodness of human nature
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